Monday, October 13, 2008

Hammond’s Pantry Candies

With the discontinuation of Reed’s Candies by Wrigley’s, I’ve been searching for similar candies. Hammond’s Candies is based in Colorado and makes hard candies and caramels using traditional methods and equipment. They’re known for their stunning hand twisted lollipops, ribbon and pillow candies. But they also make all sorts of traditional boiled sugar sweets including a line called Pantry Candies.

Each comes in a cute tin with a little clear window on top. Inside they’re tucked into a plastic bag to protect them from moisture.

Cinnamon Drops - these are sizable pieces, bigger than my pinkie toe. They’re sanded with a bit of sugar and have a soft and grainy appearance. The hard candy is smooth and flavorful. Instead of being just straight hot cinnamon, this hard candy has a bit of a touch of the woodsy, powdered spice as well as the burning cinnamon oil.

They have a satisfying crunch or simply dissolve without many voids or holes. It’s not quite the smooth & transcendent experience of Reed’s Cinnamon though.

Sour Balls - these are teensy little drops, smaller than a regular marble but larger than a pea. They come in lemon, lime, orange and cherry flavors. They have the same sanded exterior and a smooth dissolve. The citrus ones are nicely tangy but with a good rounded zest flavor (orange is a bit more muted though). They’re an old-fashioned sour though, don’t expect anything approaching battery acid.

Butterscotch Waffles - these were gorgeous little candies. They’re flattened squares (though some were little rectangles) with a smooth surface and little dimpled waffle pattern on them. They were a creamy, buttery flavor but lacking that little dash of salt though they are the closest I’ve found to the old Reed’s Butterscotch.

Licorice Drops - these definitely look the part. The same format as the Cinnamon Drops, they’re big and black and sanded. They’re made with real licorice root, so it’s a more complex flavor than just “flavored”. The big gripe I have with these, and it’s a huge one, is the large amount of artificial colors in the candy. It made my mouth greenish-black with only one. Not appealing or subtle at all. As much as I liked the taste (and finding licorice hard candies isn’t easy), the bitterness of the Red 40 (to my tongue) added with the unappealing mouth just turned me off and I didn’t finish the tin.

Lemon Drops - for those who don’t want to pick the lemon drops out of the Sour Ball assortment, here they are all alone. These large drops are perhaps a little muted in flavor, but the flavor goes all the way through and has a nice barley sugar tone to it.

Root Beer Drops - as with the cinnamon, I was hoping for a Reed’s experience here. Instead it’s rather more like a Root Beer Float than a plain old Root Beer Soda. These two-toned drops have the mellow woodsy flavor of root beer along with a creamy vanilla component. They’re smooth and flavorful but not quite spicy enough for my desires. Well, I take that back. This was the second tin I finished. (Butterscotch was the first.)

Ginger Drops (not pictured) - these little opaque candies were kind of peach/flesh colored. They didn’t smell like much and really didn’t taste like much at first either. Then the longer it dissolved the warmer it got, a light woodsy and rooty flavor, it was definitely ginger.

The offering in this line also includes Horehound, which I refuse to believe is a candy flavor but also suffers from over-coloring like the licorice.

They’re expensive, but nicely crafted and packaged and make a nice hostess gift or something to keep on your desk for those moments where you just have to have something. I like them much better than their lollipops which are exquisite to look at but don’t have the density of flavor and smooth texture of these.

Related Candies

  1. See’s Pumpkin Spice & Root Beer Lollypops
  2. Brach’s Soda Poppers
  3. Jelly Belly: Lollibeans
  4. The Apothecary’s Garden: Spices
  5. Goodbye Reed’s
  6. Pure Fun Candy Floss
Name: Pantry Candies
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Hammond's Candies
Place Purchased: samples from Candy Warehouse
Price: $9.99 a tin
Size: 12 ounces
Calories per ounce: 95
Categories: Hard Candy, Cinnamon, Ginger, Sour, Licorice, United States, Hammond's Candies

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:46 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Tricia's avatar

    One of the gifts I regularly bought my dad, when I was a kid without a steady income, was horehound candy! I never actually knew what it was, and was never quite brave enough to try it, but I always got it for him. I always figured it was like licorice only ickier, but according to wikipedia: “The flavor can be described ... as an almost berry flavored rootbeer.”

    Just curious: how come you refuse to believe it’s a candy flavor? Because of the association with cough drops, or something else??

    Comment by Tricia on 10/13/08 at 9:05 am #
  2. Tricia—I would assume it’s because the name is kind of ridiculous if you don’t already know about it.

    Comment by Sarah on 10/13/08 at 10:18 am #
  3. *snort*
    “Sour Balls.” I probably should get it for the novelty value.

    Comment by Mariana on 10/13/08 at 10:30 am #
  4. Another horehound fan here. Those drops are classic penny candy! Love horehound, the flavour is a touch vegetal-it’s unique.

    love your blog!

    Comment by CleanSimple on 10/13/08 at 10:31 am #
  5. It’s kind of strange to see horehound disparaged as a candy flavor here, given that pumpkin spice flavored lollypops, Aloe Yogurt flavored HiChew, and rose flavored turkish delight all get a pass.
    I think horehoand definitely qualifies as a candy flavor, and a classic one a that. Taken from the leaves of the flowering plant, it predates most of the artificial flavors. See

    When you reviewed Juntsuyu (and quite highly at that) your description of the flavors made me think of horehound. I guess not, though.

    btw, the Flash-based picture viewer appears only intermittently on my browser (Firefox 3 for OSX). I at first thought it was a broken image link, but it did appear (briefly) when I opened it in a new window.

    Comment by bitguru on 10/13/08 at 12:01 pm #
  6. Gee, this reminded me of a candy I used to love when I was a kid (late 1950’s early 60’s). I can’t remember the name, otherwise I’d search on your site. They were hard candies, fruit flavored, bright colors, size and shape of a marble (or bigger), powdered (powdered sugar or corn starch?), and they came in a tin, but it was taller than the Hammond’s tins. My favorite part was the smell! It was a dreamy mix of fruit flavors and the powdered sugar.

    Any idea what those were? If it helps, I was living in New England at the time.

    Comment by Bill Brown on 10/13/08 at 2:28 pm #
  7. Tea berry or Reed’s in the Tin?
    Atkinson Candy out of Texas has an old hard candy line now…. I love the honeycomb peanut
    I will try Hammond.

    Comment by rufuslady on 10/13/08 at 3:35 pm #
  8. If it were Reeds in a tin, the packaging was very diffferent from their most recent (but Cybele says the packaging hasn’t changed much - see the post on Reeds).

    Comment by Bill Brown on 10/13/08 at 4:23 pm #
  9. I’ve never heard of this, but right up my alley.

    Comment by jMo on 10/14/08 at 7:32 am #
  10. I was eating horehound candy when I came to this site, which is funny because it isn’t that easy to find!  I really like it a lot, not just for colds.

    Comment by kimbit on 10/14/08 at 10:50 am #
  11. I used horehound very often when I first started doing a lot of public speaking, on a real live MD type doctor’s advice. I consulted a guy who specializes in treating opera singers, and he actually recommended real horehound candy. I guess the herb thins the secretions in the mouth, soothing the throat. It can be a little tough to find, but I have good luck at Amish shops or country farmstand-type stores. I can’t honestly say I like the taste, but it beats vocal-cord surgery. I stopped using it while pregnant - can cause contractions. That’s some powerful candy!

    Comment by Alyssa on 10/24/08 at 11:54 am #
  12. Those sweets look really nice. It’s a pity the High Street shops don’t stock nearly enough of these.

    Everything is so fake these days. E numbers galore, and the textures are mostly made of unhealthy oils and no doubt loads of different types of sugars. No matter what it may say, fruit sugar and sugar from other sources still means it contains sugar.

    But, I guess the real thing would cost them too much to supply, huh?

    Comment by Grace Saunders on 10/28/08 at 12:48 pm #
  13. Trying to find a candy that I used to love they were called hand suckers. They came in different flavors, shaped like a hand, and some were made like a head, wrapped in wax paper this was during 1958 would you please try and find out any information please.


    Comment by Dale M. Moses on 1/09/09 at 3:14 pm #
  14. Where can I buy the “Old Fashioned Buttescotch Waffles”? I live in Washington, on the Olypic Peninsula.
    Thank you!

    Comment by Joe Trowbrldge on 1/19/11 at 1:11 pm #
  15. Trying to find a candy that I used to love they were called hand suckers. They came in different flavors, shaped like a hand, and some were made like a head, wrapped in wax paper this was during 1958 would you please try and find out any information please.

    Comment by zazaba on 5/05/11 at 11:43 am #
  16. Cybele, they are also best known for “Flat Taffy’!

    Comment by SJCarras on 7/14/17 at 8:21 pm #
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